Anyone who has tried to stop smoking cold turkey will probably say that the endeavour was far from pleasant. Quitting is difficult enough with the help of smoking cessation tools like nicotine patches and prescription medication, so kicking the habit without any help is understandably difficult. Luckily, we live in a world that is filled with rapidly growing technological innovations, some of which have proven to be quite useful to humankind. One of these inventions is known as deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (deep TMS), a procedure that uses electromagnetic pulses to treat a variety of conditions. In particular, this new therapy has been shown to be effective as a smoking cessation tool. Many people have benefitted from deep TMS in this regard, and this article will go in-depth about what is involved in deep TMS smoking cessation therapy and how it works.
What is Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation, or deep TMS for short, is a procedure that was crafted by Brainsway in 2007. It uses the power of electromagnetic fields to penetrate the brain, stimulating structures that cannot be reached by other means. This technology is used for a multitude of conditions, with the goal of balancing brain cell activity, thereby reducing or eliminating symptoms. These magnetic waves are delivered to the brain by way of a helmet filled with electric coils.
In order for a patient to receive deep TMS for smoking cessation, it must be prescribed by a certified medical doctor. The doctor will most likely refer the individual to a deep TMS specialist in the area. From here, people will undergo an initial assessment to determine if they are eligible candidates for the therapy, and any health issues that could put the patient at risk are discussed. Once eligibility is confirmed, people can expect to have a number of measurements taken, as this ensures that the helmet fits correctly and comfortably.
What Happens in a dTMS for Smoking Cessation Session?
During the first deep TMS smoking cessation appointment, the physician administering treatment will adjust the dose according to the patient. In order to do this, a series of short pulses are delivered to the brain to determine motor threshold. This is classified as the minimum amount of stimulation that is necessary to cause the thumb to twitch, and will vary depending on the person, states the Sandhill Neurologists. Doing this allows the physician to provide the right amount of electromagnetic energy, rather than too much or too little.
Throughout treatment, people are seated in a chair, allowing them to be comfortable and at ease. All magnetic-sensitive objects are removed from the body to be sure there is no interference with the equipment. Depending on what facility the patient attends, they may be able to watch television during the procedure. As well, people may read, talk with the technician or just relax. Listening to music is not an option, as earplugs are required due to the fact that the deep TMS machine emits a tapping sound that may agitate clients. In the case of nicotine addiction, patients may be exposed to smoking triggers at the same time deep TMS is being delivered, but this is not always the case.
Sessions last approximately 20 minutes; those who are trying to quit smoking will be required to complete one session every day for a period of four to six weeks. However, because deep TMS requires no surgery or anesthesia, people can return back to daily life afterwards. During the treatment, some people may experience a mild headache, which dissipates during or soon after completion of the session. Those receiving deep TMS as a smoking cessation therapy will likely not experience any other side effects, though some people do complain of pain at the application site (where the coils meet the skin).
Deep TMS has shown to be an effective smoking cessation tool, with 44% of frequent smoker showing a remission rate of 44% after treatment, states The National Center for Biotechnological Innovation. Yet, it is a fairly novel technique, so many people may not know what to expect during the process. This can be nerve wracking, and may make certain people apprehensive to seek the help that they need. When attempts to stop smoking cold turkey haved failed, or other therapies have not been effective, deep TMS may be a useful option.
Westside Neurotherapeutics offers dTMS treatments Los Angeles. For more information, contact them by phone at 310.946.0008 or visit us online at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.